Police: Driver pulled 78-year-old woman from cab by her leg as she tried to fight back with cane — then plowed into witness who attempted to intervene

News & Politics

An Access-a-Ride cab driver pulled a 78-year-old woman out of a vehicle by her leg in New York City earlier this week, police told NBC News. Video caught the moment the elderly victim tried the fight back by hitting the driver with her cane.

But the drama didn’t end there. Police said the witness who was recording the incident on video tried to intervene by confronting the driver — who proceeded to plow into the witness with the cab, NBC News added.

What are the details?

The woman had been in the backseat of the cab — Access-a-Ride serves those with permanent or long-term disabilities — when she got into a dispute over her drop-off location around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, New York City police told NBC News.

The woman reportedly was on her way to a physical therapy appointment before an argument broke out, and the driver pulled her out and onto the street on East 35th Avenue near the corner of Avenue N in Marine Park in Brooklyn, the New York Post reported.

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“The driver pulled her out of the vehicle by her leg and took her phone for a short period of time,” police noted to the network.

Police added that the driver used the vehicle to hit the 35-year-old man who was recording the incident on video and trying to intervene, NBC News said, adding that the suspect drove away from the scene.

In the video, the witness recording the video asks, “Guys, what’s going on?” as the woman is on her back on the street, hitting the driver with her cane.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

“Call the police!” the victim shouts before saying the driver took her phone.

The driver then appears to hand the phone to the witness behind the cab and then walks off and gets into the driver’s seat.

“This is an old woman!” the witness protests. “Hello? Can you not do that? Can you not stop and run away?”

Apparently believing the driver wouldn’t plow into him, the witness then appears to get in front of the cab before declaring, “You’re going to have to run over —” and then yelling in horror as the driver hits him with the vehicle, NBC News reported.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Police said both the woman and witness were taken to a hospital, the network reported, adding that the investigation did not lead to an arrest as of Friday morning.

The son of the 78-year-old victim told the Post his mother is “very scared because that guy is still out there. She is sore and has a headache, but she is very scared because the guy hasn’t been arrested yet.”

The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers identified the driver as Mohamed Ahmed Elsakran, the Post said, adding that the group called for the immediate suspension and revocation of his Taxi and Limousine Commission driving privileges.

“The video is brutal and shows no compassion or respect for the elderly,” the group said in a statement, according the the paper. “Mohamed’s actions will not be tolerated, there is NOTHING that can justify throwing an elderly women out of a car and into the street.”

The statement added that the driver’s actions “are criminal in nature,” the Post said.

The man who tried to intervene, Ezra Halawani — who was wearing a sling on his right arm in the aftermath of the incident — told the paper he saw the attack about a block away from where he worked.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

“First instinct was to pull out my phone and start recording,” Halawani recounted to the Post. “When I realized it was an elderly woman, I came to help her out, see what was going on.”

Halawani added to the paper that the driver clipped him with the vehicle: “Got next to his car, and he swerved left and drove right into me.”


Elderly Woman Dragged Out Of Car After Disagreement With Driver

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